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Private Tom Field Clark

23886 7th Battalion Norfolk Regiment

Tom Field Clark
Tom Field Clark
Photograph courtesy of Clive Wood
Son of Mr Charles & Mrs Sarah Clark

Aged 22 years

Died 28th April 1917

Commemorated on the Arras Memorial
Bay 3

Born at Olney, enlisted at Rushden.

Brother of Charles F Clark and of George Clark.

The Rushden Echo, 25th August 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Soldier Injured - Pte. Tom F. Clark - In Hospital with Wounds

Mrs. S. Clark, of 21, Brookfield-road, Rushden, received official news on Wednesday that her son, Pte. Tom F. Clark, 23886, Norfolk Regt., has been wounded in action and is now in the 20th General Hospital at Camiers. Enlisting on Jan. 31st this year, Pte. Clark was sent to France on June 7th. By trade he is a plumber, etc. He was apprenticed to Mr. Mole, and during the last three years before his enlistment he had worked for Mr. W. Packwood, contractor, Newton-road. He is well-known and respected in the town.

The Rushden Echo Friday 18 May 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Victim of the War - Private Tom Field Clarke - Officer's Tribute

We regret to report that Mrs Charles Clarke, of 21 Brookfield-road, Rushden, received unofficial news on Monday that her youngest son, Pte Tom Field Clarke, Norfolk Regt, was killed in action on April 28th. The sad news is sent by the deceased soldier's commanding officer, who writes under date May 9th: "I am very sorry to have to inform you that your son Pte Clarke, T. F. was killed on April 28th. It was awfully bad luck and he has been out here some time now; he used to be my company orderly. He always did very well, and was an excellent worker, and will be very hard to replace. If there is anything I can do I shall, of course, be only too pleased. I offer you my sincerest sympathy in your sad loss."

The late Pte Clarke, who was 22 years of age, joined the Colours in January, 1916, and went to France in June last. On August 12th last year he received a nasty wound behind the right ear, which for some months caused him considerable trouble. However, he was not sent home, although he was kept in hospital five weeks in France. By trade the late Pte Clarke, was a plumber and house decorator, having served his apprenticeship with Mr W Mole, of Midland-road, Rushden. For the three years immediately prior to his enlistment he was in the employ of Mr Packwood, builder, Newton-road, Rushden. Much sympathy is felt with Mrs Clarke in her sad bereavement.

Mrs Clarke has two other sons serving in his Majesty's forces viz., Pte George Clarke, Northants Regt., who is in France and Pte C F Clarke, Inniskilling Fusiliers, who is in Salonika.

The Rushden Echo Friday 25 May 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Victim of the War - Private Tom Field Clarke - The Last of His Squad

Mrs Charles Clarke, of 21 Brookfield-road, Rushden, has now received official news that her youngest son, Pte Tom F Clarke, Norfolk Regt., has been killed in action as reported in last week's "Rushden Echo".

Sergt H P Journet, of his platoon, writes to Mrs Clarke "I received a letter from Tom's sister, Mrs Tomlin, asking me if I could tell you anything further about Tom, and I am very sorry that I cannot do so. There is not the slightest doubt concerning his end. All I can find out is that he was brought out of the trenches and buried in a British Cemetery. I know it must be an awful blow to you, and no words of mine can heal the wounds in your heart, but I offer my deepest sympathy in your sad loss. You must be brave for his sake, and remember you are the mother of a hero, for had he lived it is quite probable he would have received some reward for his splendid work. He was the last of my friends and the last of my original squad."

The Wellingborough News, Friday 22 November 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Chums in Death - Rushden Pigeon Flyer Succumbs in Hospital

Pte Charles Frederick Clark [sic], Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, husband of Mrs Clark, of 104, Newton-road, Rushden, and second son of Mrs Clark, of 21 Brookfield-road, Rushden, died on November 6th from pneumonia, following influenza while in hospital suffering from gas effects. A letter received from Pte Bridgement, of Glassbrook-road, Rushden, who sad to say, has since been killed, states that they were resting in a barn after being in the fighting, when a gas shell burst in the barn. Pte Clark was taken to hospital, he says, but he knew no further news about him. The late Pte Clark, who was 35 years of age, went out to Canada in 1911, and came home in 1916, enlisting in the Northants Regiment in July of that year. He was then transferred to the Inniskilling Fusiliers, with Pte Bridgement and they went to Salonika together, where they served nine months, then going to Egypt, where they stayed ten months. The two became firm friends, and always slept side by side. Deceased's brother, Pte Tom Clark, of the 7th Norfolks was killed in action on 29th April, 1917, and his brother-in-law, Pte George Willey, of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, was killed on February 25th 1917. Another brother, Pte George Clark, of the Labour Corps, has been serving in France two years, and another brother-in-law, Pte Ernest Tomlin, of the A.O.C. is also in France. The late Pte Chas. Clark, was well known throughout the county as a pigeon flyer; he and his brother, Mr Frank Clark, going under the name of Messrs. Clark Bros., winning considerable fame in that branch of sport. They won the Rushden Cup outright in 1906 and 1907.

The Rushden Echo Friday 26 April 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

CLARK - In fond and loving remembrance of our dear Tom, youngest son of Sarah and the late Charles Clark, 21 Brookfield-road, Rushden.

We often sit and think of him;
His name we oft recall;
There is nothing left to answer
But his photo on the wall

We think of him in silence.
No eyes may see us weep,
But ever deep within our hearts
is memory we'll always keep.

From his ever loving mother, sisters, and brother, also brothers in France, Egypt and Canada.

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